BITKzoo2017 Panel: Data-Driven Decision Making

We’re proud to announce the panelists for the session Data-Driven Decision Making at Build IT Together Kalamazoo 2017.

Moderator Matt Mace and his panelists will explore trends in analytics and big data, and highlight focus areas where data can make the greatest impact on your business performance.

Nolen Akerman

Nolen Akerman

Principal Data Scientist of Global Analytics | Kellogg

Kellogg is based out of West Michigan, and is the world’s leading producer of cereal, and a leader in cookies, crackers, and savory snacks production. Nolen Akerman, Ph.D. is a principal data scientist in the global analytics group at the Kellogg Company where he implements and supports data analysis and predictive analytics. He has over 15 years of industry experience in a variety of roles within R&D and information technology.

He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Western Michigan University and has conducted research on applying unstructured data analysis techniques for evaluations of product advantage components and organizational culture.

Derrick McIver

Derrick McIver

Ph.D. Assistant Professor | Western Michigan University

Derrick McIver is an assistant professor at WMU, where he researches and teaches on the intersection between people, strategy, technology, and purpose. He collaborates with students to explore critical elements of strategy, data, analytics, technology, and the digital transformation. He aims to learn and understand how science and workforce research intersects these topics in organizations and to drive individual and organizational success.

Derrick is also passionate about collaborating with companies to help them meet and understand the challenges of the future of work, and exploring how cultures, processes, services, technologies, and products meet at the nexus of people, strategy, technology and purpose.

Ron Schultz

Ron Schultz

Senior VP of Business Development | BASIC

Ron has been with BASIC since 2015, is also the president and CEO of Spectra Consulting Partners. BASIC is based out of Portage, Michigan, and is an HR solutions provider that performs services for HR departments that can be performed more effectively on an outsourced basis. Prior to BASIC, Ron resided in Cincinnati and served as the President and COO of Convergys, a business services outsourcer with over $1 billion in revenue. He holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Michigan.

Today, Ron leads the team at BASIC for all aspects of growing the business, as well as advising company owners, and overseeing marketing, sales, acquisitions, business development and adding new lines of service.

Posted in News.
Featured image:


Garrett Wenger is a storyteller and marketer at Newmind Group, and a native to Kalamazoo, MI. He received his BFA in English Literature from Western Michigan University, and has heritage in Southwest Michigan’s creative writing community. He published his first book of poetry in late 2013, and he has been featured in numerous literary journals.